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“When We Get There”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “When We Get There.” The song’s lyrics were written by Billy Frish and Leo Fagan, and the music was composed by Alex Marr. The sheet music was published by the Joe Morris Music Company in 1917. There is an illustration of several battleships and smaller boats filled with men crossing an ocean on the left side of the cover, and an illustration of soldiers marching in file on the right side of the cover. There is a central photograph of the performing duo of Curtis and Rubell on the cover, and the illustration is signed “Starmer.”

“When I Marry You”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “When I Marry You” that had lyrics written by Alfred Bryan and music composed by Albert Gumble. Jerome H. Remick & Company of New York City published the sheet music in 1908. The cover features a central illustration of a hooded woman, and illustrator André De Takacs signed the cover “De Takacs.” There is an inset photograph of Cheridah Simpson in the lower right of the cover, who would have featured the song in her performances.

“When Day Is Done”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “When Day Is Done” that had lyrics written by Buddy G. DeSylva and music composed by Dr. Robert Katscher. The sheet music was published by Harms Incorporated in New York, New York in 1924. The plain white cover features a black text for the title and credits.

“Whatever the Hue of Your Eyes”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Whatever the Hue of Your Eyes” that was written by Harry B. Smith and composed by William Marion Cook. The sheet music was published by Joseph W. Stern & Company in 1900. The cover features an illustration of a woman riding a donkey across sand with pyramids in the background, and an inset photo of Virginia Earle. The song came from the show “The Casino Girl,” which starred Virginia Earle.

“What's the Matter with Father”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “What's the Matter with Father,” that was written and composed by Harry Williams and Egbert Van Alstyne. Jerome H. Remick & Company of New York, New York published this sheet music in 1910. The blue cover has an illustration of a smiling older man, signed by “Starmer” in the lower right. There is a small inset photograph of Williams and Van Alstyne below the illustration, with a larger inset photograph of an unidentified actress on the right of the cover.

“What Are You Going to Do to Help the Boys”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “What Are You Going to Do to Help the Boys.”The song’s lyrics were written by Gus Kahn and the music was composed by Egbert Van Alstyne. The sheet music was published by Jerome H. Remick & Co. of New York City in 1918. The blue cover features a large question mark in the center with an illustration of Uncle Sam inside, looking down at a pile of war bonds. The song says that if you are too young or too old to fight in the war, “the least you can do is buy a Liberty Bond or two.”

“Werner’s Musical Recitations”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music of “Werner’s Musical Recitations” was a collection of songs by various artists that was published by Werner Publishing of New York, New York in 1900. Publishers would often sell these compilations of sheet music after the music’s first publication as a discount option for consumers.

“Weary River”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Weary River” that was written by Grant Clarke and composed by Louis Silvers. The music was published by Irving Berlin, Inc. of New York City in 1929. The orange cover had an inset photograph of Richard Barthelmess. Barthelmess performed the song “Weary River” in a movie of the same name, using Vitaphone technology to record the sound for the film.

“Weak Lensing” Helps Astronomers Map the Mass of the Universe

Smithsonian Magazine

In ordinary visible light, this cluster of galaxies doesn’t look like much. There are bigger clusters with larger and more dramatic-looking galaxies in them. But there’s more to this image than galaxies, even in visible light. The gravity from the cluster magnifies and distorts light passing near it, and mapping that distortion reveals something about a substance ordinarily hidden from us: dark matter.

This collection of galaxies is famously called the “Bullet Cluster,” and the dark matter inside it was detected through a method called “weak gravitational lensing.” By tracking distortions in light as it passes through the cluster, astronomers can create a sort of topographical map of the mass in the cluster, where the “hills” are places of strong gravity and “valleys” are places of weak gravity. The reason dark matter—the mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass in the universe—is so hard to study is because it doesn’t emit or absorb light. But it does have gravity, and thus it shows up in a topographical map of this kind.

The Bullet Cluster is one of the best places to see the effects of dark matter, but it’s only one object. Much of the real power of weak gravitational lensing involves looking at thousands or millions of galaxies covering large patches of the sky.

To do that, we need big telescopes capable of mapping the cosmos in detail. One of these is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which is under construction in Chile, and should begin operations in 2022 and run until 2032. It’s an ambitious project that will ultimately create a topographical map of the universe.

“[LSST] is going to observe roughly half of the sky over a ten-year period,” says LSST deputy director Beth Willman. The observatory has “a broad range of science goals, from dark energy and weak [gravitational] lensing, to studying the solar system, to studying the Milky Way, to studying how the night sky changes with time.”

Artist’s rendering of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, currently under construction in Chile (Michael Mullen Design, LSST Corporation)

To study the structure of the universe, astronomers employ two basic strategies: going deep, and going wide. The Hubble Space Telescope, for example, is good at going deep: its design lets it look for some of the faintest galaxies in the cosmos. LSST, on the other hand, will go wide.

“The size of the telescope itself isn't remarkable,” says Willman. LSST will be 27 feet in diameter, which puts it in the middle range of existing telescopes. “The unique part of LSST's instrumentation is the field of view of [its] camera that's going to be put on it, which is roughly 40 times the size of the full moon.” By contrast, a normal telescope the same size as LSST would view a patch of the sky less than one-quarter of the moon’s size.

In other words, LSST will combine the kind of big-picture image of the sky you’d get by using a normal digital camera, with the depth of vision provided by a big telescope. The combination will be breathtaking, and it’s all due to the telescope’s unique design.

LSST will employ three large mirrors, where most other large telescopes use two mirrors. (It’s impossible to make lenses as large as astronomers need, so most observatories use mirrors, which can technically be built to any size.) Those mirrors are designed to focus as much light as possible onto the camera, which will be a whopping 63 inches across, with 3.2 billion pixels.

Willman says, “Once it's put together and deployed onto the sky, it will be the largest camera being used for astronomical optical observations.”

While ordinary cameras are designed to recreate the colors and light levels that can be perceived by the human eye, LSST’s camera will “see” five colors. Some of those colors overlap those seen by the retinal cells in our eyes, but they also include light in the infrared and ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

After the Big Bang, the universe was a hot mess—of particles. Soon, that quagmire cooled and expanded to the point where the particles could begin attracting each other, sticking together to form the first stars and galaxies and forming a huge cosmic web. The junctions of which grew into large galaxy clusters, linked by long thin filaments, and separated by mostly-empty voids. At least that’s our best guess, according to computer simulations that show how dark matter should clump together under the pull of gravity.

Weak gravitational lensing turns out to be a really good way to test these simulations. Albert Einstein showed mathematically that gravity affects the path of light, pulling it slightly out of its straight-line motion. In 1919, British astronomer Arthur Eddington and his colleagues successfully measured this effect, in what was the first major triumph for Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The amount light bends depends on the strength of the gravitational field it encounters, which is governed by the source’s mass, size and shape. In cosmic terms, the sun is small and low in mass, so it nudges light by only a small amount. But galaxies have billions and billions of stars, and galaxy clusters like the Bullet Cluster consist of hundreds or thousands of galaxies, along with plenty of hot plasma and extra dark matter holding them all together and the cumulative affect on light can be quite significant. (Fun fact: Einstein didn’t think lensing would actually be useful, since he only thought of it in terms of stars, not galaxies.)

A dark matter map, created by Japanese astronomers using weak lensing (Satoshi Miyazaki, et al.)

Strong gravitational lensing is produced by very massive objects that take up relatively little space; an object with the same mass but spread out over a larger volume will still deflect light, but not as dramatically. That’s weak gravitational lensing—usually just called “weak lensing”—in essence.

Every direction you look in the universe, you see lots of galaxies. The most distant galaxies may be too faint to see, but we still see some of their light filtering through as background light. When that light reaches a closer galaxy or galaxy cluster on its way to Earth, weak lensing will make that light a little brighter. This is a small effect (that’s why we say “weak”, after all), but astronomers can use it to map the mass in the universe.

The 100 billion or so galaxies in the observable universe provide a lot of opportunities for weak lensing, and that’s where observatories like LSST come in. Unlike most other observatories, LSST will survey large patches of the sky in a set pattern, rather than letting individual astronomers dictate where the telescope points. In this way it resembles the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the pioneering observatory that has been a boon to astronomers for nearly 20 years.

A major goal of projects like SDSS and LSST is a census of the galactic population. How many galaxies are out there, and how massive are they? Are they randomly scattered across the sky, or do they fall into patterns? Are the apparent voids real—that is, places with few or no galaxies at all?

The number and distribution of galaxies gives information about the biggest cosmic mysteries. For example, the same computer simulations that describe the cosmic web tell us we should be seeing more small galaxies than show up in our telescopes, and weak lensing can help us find them.

Additionally, mapping galaxies is one guide to dark energy, the name we give the accelerating expansion of the universe. If dark energy has been constant all the time, or if it has different strengths in different places and times, the cosmic web should reflect that. In other words, the topographical map from weak lensing may help us answer one of the biggest questions of all: just what is dark energy?

Finally, weak lensing could help us with the lowest-mass particles we know: neutrinos. These fast-moving particles don’t stick around in galaxies as they form, but they carry away energy and mass as they go. If they take away too much, galaxies don’t grow as big, so weak lensing surveys could help us figure out how much mass neutrinos have

Like SDSS, LSST will release its data to astronomers regardless of whether they’re members of the collaboration, enabling any interested scientist to use it in their research.

“Running the telescope in survey mode, and then getting those extensive high-level calibrated data products out to the entire scientific community are really gonna combine to make LSST be the most productive facility in the history of astronomy,” says Willman. “That's what I'm aiming for anyway.”

The power of astronomy is using interesting ideas—even ones we once thought wouldn’t be useful—in unexpected ways. Weak lensing gives us an indirect way to see invisible or very tiny things. For something called “weak,” weak lensing is a strong ally in our quest to understand the universe.

“We'll Meet Again”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “We’ll Meet Again” was written and composed by William T. Francis and published by Arthur W. Tams of New York, New York in 1900. This sheet music appeared as a musical supplement to the “Philadelphia Times” on Sunday, July 29, 1900. The cover features a lady in Grecian dress playing a lyre on a pinkish background.

“We'll Make Hay While the Sun Shines”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “We'll Make Hay While the Sun Shines” from the film “Going Hollywood.”Arthur Freed wrote the lyrics to the song and Nacio Herb Brown composed the music. The sheet music was published by the Robbins Music Corporation of New York City in 1933. The purple cover has a central photograph of Marion Davies and Bing Crosby, who were the stars of the Metro Goldwyn Meyer film.

“We Won't Go Home Until Morning”

National Museum of American History
The sheet music for the song, “We Won’t Go Home Until Morning” was written by Keller Mack and composed by Frank Orth. The music was published by M.D. Swisher of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1907. The white cover has blue-green lettering and an inset photo of Bessie Wynn, who sang the song as a vaudevillian actress.

“Wah! Hoo!”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Wah! Hoo!” that was written and composed by Cliff Friend. The Crawford Music Corporation of New York City published this sheet music in 1936. The yellow and black cover features an illustration of a cowboy riding a bucking horse, and an inset photograph of Eddie Davis who featured the song at the New York City club “Leon & Eddies.”Eddie Davis and Leon Enken opened the club as a speakeasy in 1928 with Davis as the main entertainment.

“Wabash Blues”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Wabash Blues.” Dave Ringle wrote the song’s lyrics and Fred Meinken composed the music. Leo Feist Inc. of New York City published this sheet music in 1921. The blue cover has an image of a yellow house, with an inset photograph of Vincent Lopez, a popular band leader at the time who would have featured the song with his orchestra.

“Virginia Rose Bud”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Virginia Rose Bud” as part of a collection of “Ethiopian Melodies.” The music was published by E. Ferrett & Company of Philadelphia in the middle of the 19th century. Ethiopian melodies were songs that were part of the culture surrounding the blackface performances in minstrel shows that were popular at this time.

“Up in a Balloon”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “Up in a Balloon” was written and composed by G. W. Hunt and published by R.M. DeWitt of New York, New York in 1869. The cover is a green background with white parchment scrolls that frames the lettering on the cover. There are five small cherubs scattered around the cover, and one is playing a harp, and another the pan flute.

“Under the Double Eagle”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Under the Double Eagle” was composed by Josef Franz Wagner and published by the Armstrong Music Publishing Company of New York, New York. The song was written by Wagner in the 1880s, but popularized in America by John Philip Sousa. The cover of the sheet music has a green and purple motif, with an image of a double-headed eagle in the upper right.

“Under the Daisies”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “Under the Daisies” was written and composed by H. Millard and published by S. T. Gordon and Sons of New York, New York in 1865. The cover features an image of a graveyard, with a tombstone that reads “In Memory,” and the cover notes that this song was written by Millard, “to his friend, Harry Standfield.”

“Under the Banana Tree”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Under the Banana Tree.” Arthur J. Lamb wrote the lyrics for the song and Lawrence B. O’Connor composed the music. The sheet music was published by G.W. Setchell of Boston, Massachusetts in 1904. The blue cover has an illustration of blue flower, with an inset image of popular singer and actress Jennie Yeamans in the center. The illustration was signed “Fisher.”

“Under the Bamboo Tree”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “Under the Bamboo Tree” was published by Joseph W. Stern & Company of New York, New York, and composed by the Cole and Johnson Brothers. The sheet music cover features an image of Marie Cahill, a famous actress of the time who sang the song in the musical “Sally in our Alley.” The cover is styled after a bamboo wall to go along with the title of the song.

“Under What Planet Were You Born” Astrology Chart

National Museum of American History
Astrology chart titled, “Under What Planet Where You Born.” This chart is part of a collection of items related to the fortune-telling business of a Romanichal Gypsy American family in Pineville, North Carolina.

“Toreador Song”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the “Toreador Song,” from the opera “Carmen.” The song was originally composed in French by Georges Bizet, but this English translation is done by Jerry Castillo. The sheet music was published by the Calumet Music Company of Chicago, Illinois in 1935. The bright red cover features a silhouetted image of a toreador, or bullfighter, with an inset photograph of George Olsen on the lower left.

“Too Young”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Too Young.” The song’s lyrics were written by Sylvia Dee and the music was composed by Sid Lippman. The sheet music was published by the Jefferson Music Company of New York City in 1951. The blue-tinged cover features a central photograph of Nat King Cole, who recorded the song for Capitol Records. There is also a white silhouette bust of Thomas Jefferson just below the title.

“Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold.” The song’s lyrics were written by George Graff Jr., and the music was composed by Ernest R. Ball. The sheet music was published by M. Witmark and Sons of New York City in 1911. The sheet music has a plain white cover with plain black lettering, and the song’s lyrics are typical of a love song written during this period.
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